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B.C. Reg. 49/2011
M66/2011
Deposited March 8, 2011
effective April 1, 2011

Safety Standards Act

Alternative Safety Approaches Regulation

Note: Check the Cumulative Regulation Bulletin 2015 and 2016
for any non-consolidated amendments to this regulation that may be in effect.

Contents
Part 1 — Definitions and Hazard Categories
1Definitions
2Safety management plan hazard categories
Part 2 — Submission of Alternative Safety Approach
Division 1 — General Requirements
3Submission of alternative safety approach
4Applications
5Proposals
Division 2 — Content of Equivalent Standard Approach
6Content of equivalent standard approach
Division 3 — Content of Safety Management Plan
7General content of safety management plan
8Administrative information
9Hazard and risk control information
10Continual improvement information
Division 4 — Assessment of Proposal
11Assessment of proposal
12Notice of determination
Part 3 — Renewal, Suspension and Cancellation
13Renewal of alternative safety approach
14Renewal if transfer of ownership
15Suspension or cancellation
16Return to regulatory requirements
Part 4 — General Matters
17Continuing duties
18Record keeping
19Qualified professionals
20Notices by safety managers
21Transition – equivalent standards agreements

Part 1 — Definitions and Hazard Categories

Definitions

1  In this regulation:

"Act" means the Safety Standards Act;

"equivalent standard approach" means an alternative safety approach that provides for the substitution of one or more requirements set out in a regulation made under the Act with a requirement set out in

(a) a code or standard established or recognized by a standard-setting body,

(b) an enactment of a jurisdiction outside British Columbia,

(c) a written statement signed by a qualified professional, or

(d) other written materials acceptable to a safety manager;

"expiry date" means

(a) the date set out in a notice given under section 12 [notice of determination] on which an accepted alternative safety approach expires, or

(b) if the date described in paragraph (a) is modified in writing by a safety manager, the modified date;

"owner" means a person who owns a regulated product or a premises;

"primary operator" means the person who is responsible for overseeing

(a) the use of a regulated product,

(b) the day-to-day operations on a premises, or

(c) the day-to-day undertaking of regulated work;

"proponent" means a person who

(a) is an owner or a primary operator, and

(b) in relation to a regulated product, regulated work or a premises,

(i) is proposing an alternative safety approach for acceptance under this regulation, or

(ii) has proposed an alternative safety approach that has been accepted under this regulation;

"proposal" means a proposal for an alternative safety approach submitted under section 5 [proposals];

"qualified professional" means a person who, in the opinion of a safety manager,

(a) has, or employs persons who have, professional qualifications or a combination of skills and experience relevant to one or more aspects of a regulated product or regulated work, and

(b) is acting in his or her professional capacity;

"safety management plan" means an alternative safety approach that provides for

(a) the replacement of requirements set out in a regulation made under the Act with an alternative approach to safety as set out in the safety management plan, or

(b) if the regulations made under the Act do not address safety in respect of the use of a particular regulated product or the undertaking of particular regulated work, the establishment of an approach that will provide for the safe use of the regulated product or the safe undertaking of the regulated work.

Safety management plan hazard categories

2  (1) For the purposes of this regulation, a provincial safety manager may establish categories of safety management plans for regulated products, regulated work or premises.

(2) In establishing categories of safety management plans, a provincial safety manager must consider at least the following:

(a) the nature of any potential hazards related to a category;

(b) any potential consequences, presented by a hazard related to a category, that may endanger persons or property.

(3) For each category, a provincial safety manager may establish requirements that must be included in a safety management plan falling within the category, and may make different requirements for different classes of regulated products, regulated work or premises.

Part 2 — Submission of Alternative Safety Approach

Division 1 — General Requirements

Submission of alternative safety approach

3  (1) A proponent may submit an alternative safety approach by submitting to a safety manager all of the following:

(a) an application in accordance with section 4 [applications];

(b) if applicable, a proposal in accordance with section 5 [proposals];

(c) all required fees.

(2) An application and a proposal must

(a) be submitted, with all required fees,

(i) if an equivalent standard approach, to a safety manager, or

(ii) if a safety management plan, to a provincial safety manager,

in the form and in the manner acceptable to the safety manager, and

(b) include, in addition to any other information required under this Part, the information required by the safety manager under the Act.

Applications

4  (1) An application may be submitted in respect of any regulated product, regulated work or premises.

(2) A safety manager who assesses an application must notify the proponent, in writing, of one of the following:

(a) that a proposal will be considered if the proposal

(i) is submitted under section 5 [proposals], and

(ii) meets any requirements or conditions set out in the notice;

(b) that further information is required before a determination may be made under this section;

(c) that the application for an alternative safety approach is rejected, and the reason for the rejection.

(3) A notice under subsection (2) (a) or (b) may include a requirement that the proponent do one or both of the following:

(a) provide with the proposal particular information or records in respect of any matter the safety manager considers relevant;

(b) retain a qualified professional to review and report on all or part of the application or the proposal.

Proposals

5  (1) If a proponent receives a notice under section 4 (2) (a) [applications], the proponent may submit a proposal.

(2) A proposal must include at least the following:

(a) a copy of the notice;

(b) the information, records or reports, if any, required by the notice;

(c) the content required under Division 2 [Content of Equivalent Standard Approach] or 3 [Content of Safety Management Plan], as applicable.

Division 2 — Content of Equivalent Standard Approach

Content of equivalent standard approach

6  A proposed equivalent standard approach must include at least the following information:

(a) a list of the requirements of a regulation made under the Act from which the proponent proposes to be exempt, in whole or in part, if the equivalent standard approach is accepted;

(b) a description of the requirements proposed to be substituted;

(c) an explanation of how the substituted requirements will achieve a level of safety at least equivalent to the requirements listed in paragraph (a);

(d) a description of how the proponent will monitor and evaluate the effectiveness of the equivalent standard approach in achieving the level of safety referred to in paragraph (c);

(e) the name and contact information, and signature, of one or more individuals who will be responsible for communicating with or reporting to a safety manager or a safety officer respecting all matters in relation to the equivalent standard approach and its operation.

Division 3 — Content of Safety Management Plan

General content of safety management plan

7  (1) A proposed safety management plan must include at least all of the following:

(a) an explanation of how the safety management plan will achieve a level of safety consistent with the objectives of the Act and the applicable regulations made under it;

(b) in respect of the persons who will be using the regulated product or undertaking regulated work, a description of their involvement in the development of the safety management plan, or if not involved in its development, their training in respect of the safety management plan;

(c) the information referred to in this Division.

(2) If a proposed safety management plan falls within one or more categories established under section 2 [safety management plan hazard categories], the proposed safety management plan must include all applicable requirements established by a provincial safety manager under that section.

Administrative information

8  A proposed safety management plan must include at least the following general administrative information:

(a) the name and contact information, and signature, of one or more individuals who will be responsible for communicating with or reporting to a safety manager or a safety officer respecting all matters in relation to the safety management plan and its operation;

(b) an accountability framework, being a list of each position held by a person responsible for a major component of the safety management plan and sufficient information to enable a safety manager or a safety officer to contact a person holding the position;

(c) a statement of the proponent's policy in relation to

(i) the safe use of a regulated product,

(ii) the safe undertaking of regulated work, or

(iii) the safe operation of the premises,

that is subject to the proposed safety management plan;

(d) if applicable, a list of the requirements of a regulation made under the Act from which the proponent proposes to be exempt, in whole or in part, if the safety management plan is accepted;

(e) site information, including

(i) the location and a description of the premises that is the subject of the proposed safety management plan, and

(ii) a description of the property surrounding the premises.

Hazard and risk control information

9  (1) A proposed safety management plan must include at least the following hazard information:

(a) a description of any significant hazards in relation to a regulated product, regulated work or a premises that is the subject of the safety management plan;

(b) the methods used to assess the hazards referred to in paragraph (a), including the qualifications of persons involved in the assessment.

(2) A proposed safety management plan must include at least the following risk control information:

(a) a description of the proponent's plan for controlling the hazards referred to in subsection (1) (a), including the source of the plan or the methodology used to create the plan;

(b) a description of the proponent's plan for managing changes to equipment, staffing, operations or other matters that affect or may affect the use of the regulated product or the undertaking of the regulated work that is the subject of the safety management plan.

(3) A proposed safety management plan must include at least the following information with respect to incidents:

(a) a description of plans for responding to and mitigating incidents;

(b) information respecting the documenting and reporting of incidents.

Continual improvement information

10  A proposed safety management plan must include a description of how the proponent will ensure continual improvement of the effectiveness with which the safety management plan achieves the objectives of the Act and the regulations made under it.

Division 4 — Assessment of Proposal

Assessment of proposal

11  (1) For the purposes of assessing a proposal, a safety manager may do one or more of the following:

(a) require a proponent to provide additional information or records, in respect of any matter addressed in the proposal, that the safety manager considers relevant;

(b) require a proponent to retain qualified professionals to review and report on all or part of the proposal;

(c) require a proponent to meet with the safety manager or a safety officer and answer questions in relation to the proposal.

(2) In assessing whether to accept a proposal, a safety manager must consider at least the following:

(a) the proposal;

(b) any information or records obtained under subsection (1);

(c) the skills, experience and resources the proponent has in respect of the regulated product or regulated work that is the subject of the proposal;

(d) the proponent's safety record, if any, under the Act, including

(i) the number and nature of incidents,

(ii) the proponent's history of compliance, and

(iii) any investigations or enforcement action taken previously against the proponent.

Notice of determination

12  (1) After assessing a proposal, a safety manager must notify the proponent, in writing, of the following:

(a) that the proposal has been accepted;

(b) that the proposal is rejected, and the reason for the rejection.

(2) If a proposal is accepted, the safety manager must include in the notice

(a) the date on which the alternative safety approach is effective,

(b) any terms and conditions that apply to the proponent in respect of the alternative safety approach, and

(c) the expiry date of the alternative safety approach, being a date not more than 5 years from the date of the notice.

(3) Without limiting subsection (2) (b), a safety manager may require a proponent to retain a qualified professional for the purposes of performing duties in relation to the proponent's alternative safety approach, and specify the nature of those duties.

Part 3 — Renewal, Suspension and Cancellation

Renewal of alternative safety approach

13  (1) An application to renew an alternative safety approach, and all required fees, must be submitted before the expiry date

(a) in respect of an equivalent standard approach, to a safety manager, or

(b) in respect of a safety management plan, to a provincial safety manager,

in the form and in the manner acceptable to the safety manager.

(2) An application for renewal must include the information required by the safety manager under the Act and

(a) a statement confirming that the information and records provided with the original proposal or the most recent renewal, as applicable, are still valid and accurate, or

(b) if paragraph (a) does not apply, a description of any changes to the information and any new or revised records.

(3) A safety manager may assess the application and, for this purpose, sections 11 [assessment of proposal] and 12 [notice of determination] apply.

(4) If

(a) an application to renew an alternative safety approach is made before the expiry date, and

(b) a decision respecting whether to renew the alternative safety approach has not been made under subsection (3) before the expiry date,

the alternative safety approach is, on the expiry date, suspended without notice to the proponent until a decision is made.

(5) If an application to renew an alternative safety approach is not made before the expiry date, the alternative safety approach is, on the expiry date, cancelled without notice to the proponent.

Renewal if transfer of ownership

14  (1) Before premises that are subject to an alternative safety approach are disposed of to another person, one of the following must occur:

(a) the proponent must notify a safety manager of the intended disposal and that the alternative safety approach will no longer apply to the premises;

(b) the person to whom the premises will be disposed of must apply to renew the alternative safety approach under section 13 [renewal of alternative safety approach] and have the renewal accepted by a safety manager.

(2) Despite subsection (1) (b), a safety manager may waive the requirement for renewal if

(a) the safety manager receives notice from the person to whom the premises will be disposed of, and is satisfied, that

(i) the person will comply with the alternative safety approach, and

(ii) no material change to the alternative safety approach is required to ensure that the objectives of the Act and the regulations made under it continue to be achieved, and

(b) the person to whom the premises will be disposed of pays all required fees.

(3) If a person to whom subsection (1) applies does not comply with the requirements of that subsection, the alternative safety approach is cancelled immediately on disposal of the premises, without notice to anyone.

(4) For the purposes of this section, a disposition of premises includes circumstances when there is a material change in the ownership or control of an owner or a primary operator of the premises.

Suspension or cancellation

15  (1) A safety manager may, at any time, suspend or cancel an alternative safety approach if the safety manager has reason to believe that one or more of the following circumstances applies:

(a) the proponent fails to comply with a requirement, term or condition of the proponent's alternative safety approach;

(b) the proponent fails to comply with a requirement of the Act or the regulations made under it from which the proponent is not exempt;

(c) the use of a regulated product or the undertaking of regulated work under the proponent's alternative safety approach is inconsistent with the objectives of the Act and the regulations made under it.

(2) A proponent may cancel an alternative safety approach before its expiry date by submitting notice to a safety manager no fewer than 90 days before the cancellation is intended to take effect.

Return to regulatory requirements

16  (1) A safety manager may require a proponent to submit a plan for transitioning from an alternative safety approach to those requirements of the Act and the regulations made under it from which the proponent was exempt, as follows:

(a) at any time on the request of a proponent;

(b) within 90 days before the expiry date of an alternative safety approach, if an application for renewal has not been received under section 13 [renewal of alternative safety approach];

(c) on receiving notice under section 14 (1) (a) [renewal if transfer of ownership];

(d) on suspending or cancelling, or receiving a notice of a proponent's intent to cancel, an alternative safety approach under section 15 [suspension or cancellation].

(2) A safety manager may require a transition plan under subsection (1) to address specific issues in relation to the regulated product, regulated work or premises that is the subject of the alternative safety approach.

(3) A transition plan and all required fees must

(a) be submitted to the safety manager in the form and in the manner acceptable to the safety manager, and

(b) include the information required by the safety manager.

Part 4 — General Matters

Continuing duties

17  (1) A proponent of a safety management plan must promptly notify a provincial safety manager of any

(a) change that may materially affect the operation of the proponent's safety management plan, and

(b) material change to a record referenced in the proponent's safety management plan.

(2) A proponent of a safety management plan must revise the safety management plan as necessary to ensure continuing, or better, levels of safety.

Record keeping

18  (1) A proponent must

(a) keep on the premises that are the subject of an alternative safety approach, and

(b) produce on request of a safety manager or safety officer,

all records necessary to support the information provided under Part 2 [Submission of Alternative Safety Approach].

(2) Subsection (1) applies

(a) while an alternative safety approach is in effect, and

(b) for 7 years following the expiry date of an alternative safety approach or the date of cancellation, whichever is earlier.

(3) A proponent must ensure that all records referenced in an alternative safety approach are current.

Qualified professionals

19  If a safety manager requires a proponent to retain a qualified professional to do one or more things under this regulation,

(a) the safety manager may specify what professional qualifications or combination of skills and experience the qualified professional must have,

(b) the proponent is responsible for all costs and expenses associated with the actions of the qualified professional in relation to the proponent's alternative safety approach, and

(c) a report required under this regulation by the qualified professional must be submitted in the form and the manner acceptable to the safety manager.

Notices by safety managers

20  A safety manager must provide written notice to a proponent if the safety manager intends to do any of the following:

(a) vary the terms and conditions of an alternative safety approach;

(b) impose new terms and conditions on an alternative safety approach after the alternative safety approach, or its renewal, has been accepted;

(c) require the proponent to renew an alternative safety approach before its expiry date;

(d) suspend or cancel an alternative safety approach.

Transition – equivalent standards agreements

21  (1) An equivalent standards agreement accepted by a safety manager under the Act before the Act was amended by the Miscellaneous Statutes Amendment Act (No. 3), 2010 is deemed to be an equivalent standard approach accepted under this regulation.

(2) For the purposes of section 13 [renewal of alternative safety approach], an equivalent standard approach referred to in subsection (1) of this section expires on the earliest of the following:

(a) the date set out in the deemed equivalent standard approach as the date on which it expires;

(b) if the date described in paragraph (a) is modified in writing by a safety manager, the modified date;

(c) April 1, 2014.

[Provisions relevant to the enactment of this regulation: Safety Standards Act, S.B.C. 2003, c. 39, sections 86 (2) and 88 (2)]